NWM ready for SA Rally Raid podium in Dulstrooom

The opening race of the 2022 South African Rally Raid Championship (SARRC) is fast approaching – we’ll be there to cover the action from the touchline, but in the meantime Ryan de Villiers offers a preview of what to what to expect from Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM).

The first race of the new season will be at the Mpumalanga 400 held in Dullstroom on March 25-26. Making its first appearance, the FIA ​​​​T1+ Class will kick off the action of the weekend. The adrenaline-fueled T1+ will feature heavily modified and outrageous V6-powered Ford Rangers. The T1+ category will adopt the regulations seen in the FIA ​​World Rally Raid Championship and Dakar Rally.

Keen to make the most of this new season and new class, Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) is determined to deliver wins in the T1 and T1+ classes this season. Lance Woolridge and his co-driver Elvene Vonk will race in the redesigned and extremely powerful Ford Ranger EcoBoost T1+. The latest redesign of the NWM Ford Ranger has seen significant changes compared to its predecessor. Compared to the 2021 Ranger, the new car is 300mm wider, has longer travel suspension mated to 37-inch wheels.

Commenting on the vehicle, Lance Woolridge said: “While there is still work to be done to fine tune the setup, we have been impressed with the performance of the vehicle so far and can’t wait to see it in action at Dullstroom. .”

Alongside the T1+ class competitors is the young NWM-backed privateer team who will be driving a creepy Ford Ranger V8 built and sold by NWM. Lance Tretheway and Frans Kock will compete in the regular T1 class and drive vehicles that have not been homologated for the T1+ class. Unlike its bolder counterpart piloted by Woolridge in T1+, the Ranger piloted by Trethewey will be smaller and narrower. Tretheway has a long racing track record having raced in special vehicles for 13 years, but he felt it was time for a change.

NWM ramp-up

The ambitious newcomer had this to say about his weapon of choice for the T1 class; “Driving a production vehicle is very different from what I’m used to with special vehicles, the way it steers and handles the braking, but I got to grips with the NWM Ranger very quickly during the test. We’re going to do a short rally sprint before Dullstroom for me to spend more time in the car, but so far it’s been great.

After the Mpumalanga 400, the next event will be the Sugarbelt 400 on April 29-30 which is scheduled to take place in Eston, KwaZulu-Natal.

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